Most grass is possible to grow through the application of seed, but the placement of sod--carpetlike squares of grass--in a lawn gives the lawn instant grass without waiting for seed to germinate and grow. Sod is best placed in the spring so it has a full growing season to establish its roots into the soil underneath. Special care is required to get sod through the initial growing phase so it becomes a permanent part of the yard.
Water the sod daily for two weeks after it is first planted in the spring to help establish the root system. Water so that the grass stays moist. Apply water during the midafternoon during warm days when evaporation is at its highest.
Pull up on the sod after two weeks to determine whether the sod has begun establishing roots. Reduce watering the sod to one inch of water every seven to 10 days once the sod resists being pulled up.
Mow the lawn once the grass reaches a height of 3 inches or more. Cut the grass 1/3 of its height at a time to prevent stressing the plant. If the grass measures four inches, mow just an inch and one-third off the top, leaving two and two-thirds inches.
Apply fertilizer to the sod four weeks after planting. Add 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn.